Following allegations of privacy abuses by the US authorities, Twitter has agreed to pay millions in fines.
US authorities penalized Twitter $150 million for gathering users’ email addresses and phone numbers for security concerns and then exploiting the information to target them with advertisements.
According to the federal lawsuit, Twitter violated a 2011 privacy settlement with the Federal Trade Commission by failing to inform its users for years that it utilized their contact information to help advertisers target their advertising.
Twitter only ever advised users that their phone numbers and email addresses were being utilized for account security purposes, but never mentioned advertising in its alleged misbehavior.
In a statement, Twitter’s chief privacy officer, Damien Kieran, claimed the firm “cooperated with the FTC every step of the way.”
“We paid a $150 million penalty as part of this settlement, and we’ve aligned with the agency on operational improvements and program changes to guarantee that people’s personal data is secure and their privacy is protected,” Kieran said.
“Twitter misrepresented to users of its online communication service the extent to which it preserved and protected the security and privacy of their nonpublic contact information from at least May 2013 until at least September 2019,” according to the complaint.
With the FTC’s latest proposed settlement agreement, Twitter will be barred from profiting from “deceptively collected data” and will be able to employ user authentication methods other than phone numbers, such as multi-factor verification apps, in order to satisfy the claims against the corporation.
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